Ross Kemp comes face to face with gang members, terrorists and murderers in his new ITV documentary Welcome to HMP Belmarsh with Ross Kemp
Ross Kemp seems to thrive on putting himself in challenging situations and for this new two-parter, Welcome to HMP Belmarsh with Ross Kemp on ITV, he’s taking a camera crew behind bars at the infamous prison.
As well as spending time in the main prison, Ross gets access to the high security unit, which houses some of the UK’s most dangerous convicts, including far-right extremist Tommy Robinson and alleged drug lord Muhammad Asif Hafeez, and steps inside ‘The Box’, the isolated cell where the most difficult are sent.
‘I’ve never been to a prison like it in the UK,’ says Ross.
‘They’ve got more than 100 gang members, 17 convicted terrorists, 187 murderers, prisoners that have killed three to four people and prisoners that have killed other prisoners.
‘I’ve always said prison isn’t an easy ride and that’s certainly the case with Belmarsh.’
He also witnesses serious drug use and horrific violence.
‘While we were there a guy was slashed,’ says Ross.
‘There were also inmates smoking this thing called “Man Down”, which is a mix of aluminium cleaner and cockroach killer.’
Yet Ross says the most shocking thing about Belmarsh is the level of mental-health issues the staff have to deal with.
‘The amount of self-harming was shocking,’ he says. ‘One guy showed me how he was able to snap a plastic spoon and open up a vein.
‘It’s a real issue.
‘You’ve got radicalised inmates and serial rapists – the mental-healthcare issues are really complex.’
For full listings, see our TV Guide.
TV Times rating: ****
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